Pandora ditches Flash for new site design

new pandoraPandora announced this morning that it now has over 100 million users, and that isn’t the only exciting thing happening for the music streaming service. Soon the site will begin rolling out an entirely new design – one that won’t only look better, but work better. Pandora will begin opting to use HTML5 on the front-end, which should create “a much faster experience.”

Saying goodbye to Flash isn’t the only makeover though. The site’s UI will look like a combination of iTunes and Facebook (it has a big emphasis on social integration), and while it won’t isolate users who have grown accustomed to Pandora, it’s a new, nice polish for the site. The controls will appear centered in a top control bar, like many desktop music applications. And while old Pandora pushed your personal player off to the left hand side, it will now be front and center.

A great-looking site is nothing to scoff at, but the fact the Pandora’s music curation process is getting an upgrade is more crucial for the service. CTO Tom Conrad told TechCrunch about the process: When you create a new station, the suggestions are no longer only keyboard-based but also take into account your own voting and listening habits. The Music Feed section also shows you what your friends and other Pandora users are listening and dishing precious thumbs up out to. In a Turntable-like move, you can listen in and like their choices as well.

Focusing on the social aspect of the site has been a major part of the revamp. While Pandora has integrated with both Twitter and Facebook, it’s trying to implement social elements more organically instead of seemingly tacking them on. The profile is a much more central piece to your account now, and the Music Feed works and looks like your Facebook News Feed. You can also choose to share what you’re listening to via Pandora’s Music Feed, or Facebook or Twitter. Users don’t have to participate in these social networking features of course, and can opt for private profiles.

The Pandora redesign will begin rolling out incrementally, starting this week with Pandora One subscribers.

Product Review

Asus Zephyrus S is a laptop for gamers. Everyone else need not apply

RTX graphics have finally made it to gaming laptops, and the first we've tested is the new Zephyrus S. Now with a 17-inch display and those new graphics inside, the Zephyrus' unique design boasts some additional power.
Music

The best new music this week: Robert Ellis, Golden Daze, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: Brand-new music from Robert Ellis, Broken Social Scene, and Golden Daze.
Smart Home

Want to publish your own Alexa skill? Here's how to do it

Building new Alexa skills has never been easier! Thanks to Alexa Blueprints, you can pick a template and create any kind of Alexa skill you want. What new skill will you make first? Here's how to do it.
Home Theater

Apple's new AirPods could arrive within months, pack health sensor tech

Apple may release new AirPods in the first half of 2019. A wireless charging case, health sensors, water resistance, and better Siri integration are some of the improvements rumored to be part of the new package.
Cars

All U.S. 2020 Toyotas will have a trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio

This fall, with the introduction of the 2020 model year vehicles, all Toyotas sold in the continental U.S. will include SiriusXM satellite radio installed with a three-month trial subscription of SiriusXM All Access.
Gaming

Where to catch the encore of Marshmello's Fortnite concert if you missed it

EDM star DJ Marshmello performed a different sort of concert today: one held live in-game in Fortnite. The concert was held in Pleasant Park, where the usual football field was transformed into a stage and a massive dance party broke out.
Mobile

Schubert left Symphony No. 8 unfinished. A smartphone’s A.I. just completed it

We all know computers can be used to make music, but can artificial intelligence be used to not only generate music, but complete one of the most famous unfinished symphonies of all time? Huawei has used its A.I. to find out.
Music

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Music

Spotify could terminate accounts of listeners using ad blockers

Bad news for those who block annoying ads on Spotify -- the company has updated its Terms of Service to explicitly ban ad blockers. Consequences for users found circumventing the rules include suspending or terminating your account.
Music

Donald Glover is (somehow) first rapper to win a Grammy for Song Of The Year

Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino) has become the first hip-hop artist to win Song Of The Year, an award that had illuded countless other popular rap artists for decades.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Music

The 25 best love songs on Spotify for your wooing pleasure

Valentine's Day comes but once a year, but love is forever. If you're hoping to impress your significant other -- or if you're trying to procure one -- we put together a list of the best love songs for your wooing pleasure.
Cars

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.